Washington, D.C.– The Professional Managers Association (PMA)–formed in 1981 by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Managers as a national membership association representing the interests of professional managers, management officials and non-bargaining unit employees in the federal government and within the IRS–released the following statement calling for Congress to avoid a government shutdown:
Government shutdowns are wasteful and destructive to the American people. Members of Congress often criticize the IRS for low service levels and response times. A government shutdown is the single simplest way for Congress to ensure taxpayers cannot get the tax services they need–not just during the shutdown, but far into the future when workers leave the IRS because of the financial instability shutdowns cause. While we have a strong preference for full year appropriations, it is clear that as lawmakers continue working to reach bipartisan agreement on full year spending, a continuing resolution will be necessary to avoid a government shutdown. Therefore, Congress must put partisan politics aside and act now to pass a short-term continuing resolution that averts a shutdown while negotiations are ongoing.
The reason the 2023 tax season was the IRS’s most successful in recent years was because the Service had the funding to hire and train the staff needed to service taxpayers. This season was a small testament to what the IRS can achieve with the resources to do its job. A government shutdown, particularly if followed by funding cuts, would eviscerate much of the progress made. Congress and the White House already agreed to cut $20 billion in funding from the IRS modernization initiatives to address our nation’s debt crisis. Further cuts to the IRS budget will seriously undermine modernization initiatives that will save taxpayer funds in the long term.
For this reason, full and robust appropriations are necessary for both the IRS and our nation’s long term fiscal health. We applaud Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patty Murray and Vice Chair Susan Collins for working in a bipartisan manner to unanimously advance legislation that provides the $12.319 billion to the IRS, roughly equal to the IRS’s FY 2023 funding. While this is lower than the President’s requested $14.1 billion, we appreciate that the Senate worked in a cooperative manner rather than the partisan approach taken by the House to slash IRS funding considerably.
Still, we urge Congress to recognize that after providing a pay raise to employees–which Congress has not separately included in appropriations in recent years–and accounting for inflation, even keeping IRS funding stable results in an effective cut. The IRS provides the federal government’s largest revenue source, and no other federal agency boasts the same return on investment. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated increasing IRS funding by $80 billion over the 2022–2031 period would increase revenues by approximately $200 billion over those 10 years. Conversely, the last significant government shutdown cost the government $11 billion.
It is simple: when Congress does its job and funds the government, taxpayers are better off, and money is saved. When Congress shuts the government down, taxpayer funds are wasted, and services are halted. For this reason, we urge Congress to fully fund the government and take all necessary measures to avert a shutdown in the meantime.